Sell Your Products Online

When I was a young child, I would set up my shop with pine cones, pine needles, shells, rocks and nuts. After awhile, my friends quit coming around when I had my store set up. I had to be the shopkeeper and everything had to be the way I wanted. After all, it was MY store.

Do you want to sell your artwork, jewelry, e-books, scrapbook supplies, clothing, web designs or other wares online? It is a big step to sell online and you face hard questions:
Ashop Commerce, sponsor of this post, provides e-commerce software, a hosted shopping cart that may be used by anyone who wants to sell online. Their shopping cart software supports small to medium sized Internet businesses who wish to add e-commerce to the mix of services provided. Ashop Commerce shopping cart software allows you to build and to manage an online store from anywhere in the world you have web access.

Look at these features:
  • web-based software, no installation required;
  • safe and secure interface allows you to accept credit cards online;
  • affordable, fully featured, easy-to-use shopping cart software;
  • customize your store design to showcase your products; and,
  • try it free for ten days.

Do You Use Webcasts in Your Marketing?

Research Brief » Blog Archive » Offering Archived Webcasts Improves Registration Measurably

The report shows that registration and attendance is cyclical depending on the time of year or week:
  • 47% of registrations occur in the 10 days before a scheduled webcast, with over 10 percent registering on the day of the webcast.
  • December, June and August registered the highest rates of registrant-to-attendee conversion (64.71 percent, 58.43 percent and 57.14 percent, respectively).
  • The lowest registration rates occurs over the weekend; the highest are on Monday (23 percent), Tuesday (21 percent), and Wednesday (19 percent).
  • Video webcasts attract a higher average number of registrants and attendees with conversion ratios over 50 percent.
  • Additional registrants and attendees will view archived webcasts.
Request the complete report and charts from ON24.

Imagine the power and force of the water . . .

We went to look at Canyon Lake last weekend. The lake is full and they are releasing water at something like 4000 cubic feet per second (cfs) into the Guadalupe River. Amazing! The normal flow of the Guadalupe is between 100-200 cfs!

We were winding our way back to San Marcos, checking rivers and creeks for high water levels, when we crossed the Blanco River. There was what looked like golf cart parts and a big BBQ pit stuck up in the cypress trees along the river.

Can you imagine the wall of water that carried those items along and placed them 20 feet up in the trees? Think of this next time you see water rushing over a road. Do not chance it. Turn around and don't drown.

If you are looking to replace your golf cart, please visit Cunningham Golf Car, sponsor of this post.

Smirnoff Cleans Up the Oceans


Find more videos like this on AdGabber


This is a great commercial! If only it were this easy to undo what we have done to the oceans and the Earth.

Its Not Heavy, Its Alienware

My son's Alienware Laptop is so big, that it will not fit in the computer bag that I used for my Dell laptop. I do not think I have ever seen a laptop as big as this Alienware computer. It is not heavy, just big.

The laptop will be his college computer. Yeah, right. It was part of his incentive to get into college. Yes, I bribed him. What can I say, it worked. He is now officially a Texas State University student: enrolled, registered and paid up. Thank God for the Texas Tomorrow Fund!

Now, I just have to find a computer case large enough for a small automobile. I think I may have to spring for one of these computer backpacks that is actually a piece of luggage. If you are looking for luggage or a huge laptop case, check out LuggageSource.com, sponsor of this post.


IBM says, "Be a good 3D Netizen"

If you are going to represent your business or your brand, you need to present yourself as a professional. While no one wants to place real world rules on activities taking place in the virtual world, it may be a good idea. With recent problems with predators and stalkers in the multiverse, it may become a necessity.


IBM writes guidelines for virtual worlds - USATODAY.com- read complete article

IBM's rules — which apply to Second Life, Entropia Universe, Forterra, There.com and other worlds — are logical extensions of the real world: Don't discuss intellectual property with unauthorized people. Don't discriminate or harass. . . .
. . . Intel is also drafting a tip sheet and plans to offer a voluntary course later this year for employees who use blogs, social media sites and virtual worlds.


Just as bloggers had to deal with issues of transparency, honesty and disclosure, so will the 3D Netizen. It is going to be a painful process to watch. Maybe IBM will let their employees adopt an after hours avatar.

Recreation: Blog Village Carnival

Blog Village Carnival bannerMonday, July 30, 2007
Blog Village Carnival
Recreation


Carnival on Texas RV Travel blog today! Please join us and discover new ways to recreate!


Try EPAY, a virtual payment processor

EPAY is an alternative payment system that allows you to send money and to receive money worldwide. You may make instant payments to any EPAY member by e-gold, pecunix, 1mdc or bank transfer without opening an EPAY account.

You may easily fund your EPAY account, withdraw funds from your EPAY account by using e-gold, pecunix, 1mdc or bank transfer. EPAY also offers customers the ability to withdraw funds through debit cards

Using EPAY as your payment processor will ease the communication process normally involved in sending and receiving money. Generate SMS invoices, pay SMS invoices from and to any mobile phone in over 180 countries. Send e-mail invoices and pay e-mail invoices to anyone with an email.

EPAY is not an investment program, HYIP or a bank. EPAY is a payment processor and the EPAY capital and virtual units of all EPAY members are backed by Dollars and Euros deposited with top European banks. EPAY is located in the British Virgin Islands.

With EPAY, you are funding, sending and receiving virtual Dollars or Euros. The rates of EPAY Dollar and EPAY Euro are tied to real world values, so automatic conversion between units is painless.

If you wish to refer other EPAY members, you will earn 10 percent of their transaction fees. In addition, you may use the EPAY credit card to verify your PayPal account. It costs absolutely nothing to open and EPAY account and takes only minutes.

Count Your Blessings Sunday


~::+::~::+::~::+::~::+::~::+::~

May God grant you
the strength and faith
to count your blessings,
not your your crosses;
count your gains
not your losses.

Count your joys
not your woes;
Count your friends
not your foes.

Count your smiles
not your tears;
Count your courage
not your fears.

Count your full years
not your lean;
Count your kind deeds
not your mean.

Count your health
not your wealth;
And love your neighbour
as much as yourself.

~::+::~::+::~::+::~::+::~::+::~

The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings. Click this link, grab the blogroll code, add the code to your blog, leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience and post your blessing. Join us on Sunday as we blog our blessings.

Smorty : Get Paid to Blog

Smorty offers a service for advertisers who want to build buzz about their website, product or service. Advertisers create a campaign for some blog advertising. Smorty will line up all the blog advertising by offering the review to different blog for money bloggers. Some will have high-ranking blogs and some may be new with a loyal readership base.

Bloggers get a chance to get paid to blog by writing reviews of the advertisers' products, services and websites. Bloggers only accept the campaigns that fit their blog.

Smorty has its own method of ranking blogs. There are 20 different features that Smorty look for in a blog. This is only the initial rank. After completing assignments on time and with quality work, Smorty will offer you the higher-paying opportunities.

As a bonus for both advertisers and bloggers, Smorty offers a free Easy SEO Guide that shows you how to optimize your web pages and how to increase your inbound links. Of course, the number one way to increase traffic and build buzz is to use Smorty.

Tags: , ,

How to Succeed at Blogging

Quality First! Use creativity and solid writing to keep your content fresh and to develop a strong following of readers. Check all posts that you write, for pay or otherwise, for broken links and outdated URLs.

Don't Sell Out! Give value. There is a difference between a blog of substance and a blog of subsistence; don't allow the sole purpose of your blog to be about making money. Once you cross this line, in our opinion, your blog will begin to deteriorate and will start to lose its value to advertisers.

Specialize and develop a niche. If you want to improve your blog and in turn make more money then you need to develop a niche. Be different. Blogs with targeted audiences are the most marketable. What do you love? Blog about that! Whether it is tying fishing lures, making stained glass, building furniture, or driving around in an RV, make it live and breathe for your readers.

Get the Globe

Growing up in the 1950s, Globe Life and Accident Insurance Company was a name that everyone knew, right along with Gerber, Babe Ruth and Daniel Boone.

Life insurance gives your child a financial head start. The rate is based on your child's current age and is guaranteed for the rest of their life. Get their coverage started for $1.

Give the grandkids something different this year; give them Globe Insurance, whole life insurance that builds cash value. They will probably say, "Eh, thanks, I guess, grandma" but they will bless you when they are older. Its all you can hope for, anyway. LOL

Do Ads Sync with Online Video?

The only ad I will tolerate in a video is an advertisement while the video loads. Audience reactions to online video advertising will ultimately shape how marketers and Web publishers use this medium.

Online Video Advertising Sticking Points - eMarketer - read the article

From the article:
According to the "Online Video Advertising" report from online advertising company Burst Media, 77.5% of those who watch video online find video ads intrusive, while 62.2% say they disrupt their Web surfing experience. . . And despite the relative novelty of video on the Web, the problem of too many video ads was the least-liked aspect of online video mentioned by the most Internet users in a Synovate study commissioned by video search company Clipblast!
Online Video Ad Sticking Points, Pt.2 - eMarketer- read the article

From the article:
The length of online video ads has become a key pivot in determining how best to use the format. For example, NBC Universal recently announced that it would not accept online video ads longer than 15 seconds
~~~ Will Watch Ads for Videos ~~~
Photograph from
LOLnpTech


LOLnptech.org


These people work for an environmental non-profit, but their blog is nothing but funny. They are on the BlogLog, so join their community and get your cool badge:


Get Out of Debt!










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You can get out of debt, live within your means, save for large purchases or use credit wisely, invest in your future with retirement plans, and have the correct insurance coverage for your needs. Download The Bills.com Free Personal Finance Budget Guide : What You Need to Know to Get Debt Free, Manage Your Money, and Build Wealth. Visit the Bills.com Financial Blog for investing advice. Visit Bills.com, sponsor of this post, today.

STR can save a life

Remember STR . . .

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

If a neurologist can treat a stroke victim within 3 hours, the effects of stroke can be totally reversed. The challenge is having the stroke recognized, diagnosed and then getting the patient to medical care within three hours.

If a person who has suffered a stroke, doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S * Ask the individual to SMILE - is one side of the smile lower than the other?
T * Ask the person to TALK - is the speech garbled?
R * Ask him or her to RAISE both arms - can the person do it?

The first three letters of STRoke can help you to recognize the signs of a stroke. Call 911 and save a life.


Freeze It Pain Relief Gel

Me and My Freeze It photoMe and My Freeze It

I had an opportunity to try out and review a new product called Freeze It Advanced Therapy Pain Relief Gel. Performance Health, Inc. makes the product and the package states that the gel works on muscle, joint and arthritis pain! The product contains Ilex, Aloe and Vitamin E as well as Camphor and Menthol.

Luckily, I have a bad back and am always willing to try a new pain relief product. Over the years, I have had physical therapy, chiropractry, inter-disk steroid injections and have taken every oral pain medicine known to man. After all that, I get the most relief from gels like Freeze It that are applied topically. I think it has something to do with it being massaged into my back. The human touch is always important.



The first thing I noticed when I opened the gel packet was smell, or, rather, lack of smell. Usually these gels smell like wintergreen and, after you apply them, you do too. No, there was just a slight smell like rubbing alcohol, and that dissipated quickly after it was spread on my back.

Usually these gels get HOT. This gel gently warmed my skin and muscles and then turned cool, very cool. Later, when I took a shower, I could still feel the gel on my back turn cool again when the water hit it. Now, that is staying power.

The product worked as well or better than any other gel product I have used. It is also non-greasy and non-staining. The light scent makes it a gel you may use without the entire world realizing it is a bad back day for you.

I would recommend it to anyone with muscle pain or arthritis.


Behavioral Targeting and AOL Keywords?

To capitalize on the fast-growing online ad market, AOL, Yahoo, Google and others have resorted to purchasing online ad services companies.
  • Google is in the process of buying DoubleClick
  • Yahoo recently closed its acquisition of Right Media
  • In May, Microsoft announced intentions to buy digital marketing aQuantive Inc.
  • AOL acquired Third Screen Media and AdTech AG this year, and Lightningcast last year.
AOL purchased Tacoda for $275 Million. TACODA® Audience Networks™ was the first and largest behavioral targeting advertising network, and reaches more than 120 million people across 31 discrete audience segments every month.

Read the article: Advertising Age - Digital - AOL Acquires Behavioral-Targeting Shop Tacoda

From the article:
Targeted display advertising is expected to be a growing business. One reason: Behavioral-targeting technology is helpful for monetizing sites that aren't naturally commercial or contextual. For example, if a person is surfing an auto website and then moves to a national news site, a behavioral-targeting firm can detect that surfing history and serve up an auto ad on the news site, knowing this person is interested in cars.

Interested? Read more on BT here: articles on BT on Advertising for Success Blog.

Web 2.0 and Wal-Mart?!?

Read article by clicking link: Advertising Age - At Last, the Reviews Are in: Wal-Mart Wakes Up to the Power of the People

From the article:
Wal-Mart is the largest bricks-and-mortar retailer by some stretch, but it has lagged a bit in the e-commerce race. In June it was the fifth-largest retail site based on unique visitors, trailing eBay, Amazon, Apple and its smaller, hipper bricks-and-mortar rival Target, according to ComScore. While Target's online lead is narrow, its site traffic is growing faster.



Wal-Mart tries social networking again. Last year, Wal-Mart failed spectacularly to connect with its customers. Using a fake blog set up by Edelman, fake bloggers, who were actually Wal-Mart employees, tried to make us feel warm and fuzzy about Wal-Mart.

I think this is a good move for Wal-Mart. It can only make the experience better. It is a bit sterile shopping in person at Wal-Mart, and the online experience is worse. Reviews and ratings, if they are REAL, are wonderful ways to create a feeling of community. Top lists and celebrity fave items, with reviews from real people will do a lot for Wal-Mart's goodwill.

Now, if they could just pay a living wage so their workers could afford insurance. That would make me a happy Wal-Mart customer.

Deal with what you know : Tip of the Iceberg

Iceberg on Demand is a new web-based platform for building business applications with enterprise functionality and security. You do not need to learn programming or have the hardware, software and workforce capable of building applications.



Iceberg On Demand (IoD) comes with several free applications for HR, CRM, Project Management and more. IoD will help you to build, to share and to sell business applications.

IoD includes complete object management. Simply drag an object--file, image or web service such as email--to your work area to use it. The IoD interface is simple, yet powerful. Call web services, like Google Maps, images and videos for awesome mashups. All processes and applications may be called by web services as well, so upload training videos or post the latest collaborative work online.

If you can dream it, you can build it using Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 platform, Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and a SAS-70 hosting environment. Deal with what you know: the tip of the iceberg. Iceberg on Demand, sponsor of this post, has what you need to succeed.


Harry Potter Shut Down the Blogosphere!

On Sundays and Mondays, I usually devote my time to visiting other blogs and commenting, just saying "hey." Last weekend I noticed something. Many blogs of usually proliferate bloggers were without posts, some for days. I left puzzled comments, asking if everything was okay . . .

LOL! It was Harry Potter. The new book was released last week and fans dropped everything to read it. Due to people who have to spoil things by telling endings and alluding to key events in movies and books, many bloggers stayed off the Internet for as long as it took to read the book.

This is amazing! Even the iPhone release did not accomplish this. These are hard-core bloggers who shut down their computers and walked away with a book in their hand.

Disney Creates Virtual World for Gamers

After May 2008, Disney gamers will be able to use the wireless connection in their Nintendo DS to connect in the virtual with other Nintendo DS users and online via the DGamer Channel on Disney.com.

DGamer will allow direct connections between Nintendo DS users and will allow them to customize their community on their Nintendo DS system and online. DGamers will be able to create avatars, trade or gift avatar costumes, speed chat, make friends, view the high game scores of their friends and vote in polls.

The DGamer platform will be included in Nintendo DS games, starting with The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian; and following with Spectrobes II and Hannah Montana 3. DGamers may unlock exclusive content in their game or DGamer online profile by completing challenges in-game or in the virtual.

From the press release:
Disney Interactive Studios showcased upcoming youth-branded games both for handheld and console platforms. New video games for girls, boys and families will include titles on multiple platforms based on the Disney Channel franchises High School Musical, Hannah Montana and Power Rangers. Titles such as Disney Friends, Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey and Enchanted round out the lineup.
Read complete information here.

Note to Parents: With parental permission, players can exchange codes with trusted friends, which enables true chat. The parental tie-in is a great idea to protect young DGamers from stalking and sexual predation. So you can be cool and your kids can be safe. Great idea, Disney!

BP Tells their Side of the Story

The Chicago Tribune published an article about Beyond Petroleum (BP) and their factory in Whiting, Indiana. BP states that the article misrepresented important facts and they want to clear the air, or water, so to speak. BP asks that you read the BP Whiting Fact sheet (PDF) to hear their side of the story.

The Tribune stated that the BP Whiting oil refinery is planning to dump more ammonia and industrial sludge into Lake Michigan, effectively negating years of effort to clean up the Great Lakes.

BP says that what is released into Lake Michigan is not sludge, but 99.9 percent water. All sludge is treated differently, as per governmental regulations, and never discharged into Lake Michigan. It is true that the new water discharge permit will allow the average ammonia discharge into Lake Michigan to increase, but the level of discharge will be less than half of federal environmental guidelines.

The Tribune article alleged that Indiana regulators exempted BP from state environmental laws so that BP could ramp up a $3.8 billion expansion to refine Canadian crude oil, which is a heavier crude, but more plentiful. The Tribune article stated that BP justified the expansion in part by citing that the project will create 80 new jobs.

The BP Whiting Refinery Fact Sheet, on the other hand, highlights that the Whiting Refinery employs almost 1700 residents and 1500 contract workers. The planned modernization of the plant, costing $3 billion, will create new jobs for about 2000 contract workers temporarily, and add an estimated 80 full-time BP employees to the plant.

The Tribune contrasts the greenbelts and parklands of Lake Michigan in Chicago with the steel mills, industrial factories and refineries that dot the heavily polluted southern shore. This pollution first drew national attention in the 1970s and was part of the impetus for the Clean Water Act.

BP states that it is committed to environmental leadership and expects to be neighbors for many years to come. The Whiting Refinery has been in business for 117 years.

BP asks that you read the Tribune article and their rebuttal in the Fact Sheet. For more information, please read an article the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel.



Q2 Sucked, Google, Why?

Investors in Google are not happy. They are disappointed with earnings for Q2. Google counters that it is spending on personnel and acquisitions and that is as it should be. Analysts disagree.

Search Insider » Blog Archive » Google’s Shaky Investments
. . . CEO Eric Schmidt pointed to Google’s huge hiring growth-Google had pulled in 1,500 new workers by June.

. . . Google purchased YouTube for $1.6B, . . . Google would just need to provide the right ad model.

. . . Google is further awaiting approval on the $3.1B DoubleClick deal, and a $625M deal to buy Postini.

. . . Google might do well to reassess its spending approach for Q3.

Salts Preserve Me!

I was out working in the yard yesterday. Now, I cannot straighten up. I hate getting old and creaky. I have tried everything when my back goes out: cooling gels, heating pads, massage (when I can talk Michael into it), and hot baths.

One thing I have found that works for me is to run a hot bath and add dead sea salt. Bathing with salt from The Dead Sea also relieves stress. A side benefit is that your skin is infused with over 20 essential minerals. So, I am relaxed, I can straighten up and my skin is buffed! Such a deal! LOL

Enter to win a gift basket worth $200 and receive special discounts, new products, skin care tips and free sample offers from Cleopatra's Choice, sponsor of this post.

Blog Your Blessing : Love of Creation


Love all God's creation,
the whole and every grain of sand in it.

Love every leaf,
every ray of God's light.

Love the animals,
love the plants,
love everything.

If you love everything,
you will
perceive the divine mystery in things.

Once you perceive it,
you will begin to
comprehend it better everyday.

And you will come at last to love the whole world
with an all-embracing love.


Attributed to Fedor Dostoevski

~<(+)>~<(+)>~<(+)>~<(+)>~

The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings. Click this link, grab the blogroll code, add the code to your blog, leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience and post your blessing. Join us on Sunday as we blog our blessings.

Dreams of Dell and Power Supplies

I should not have written that post on the Dell Inspiron. Every time I think of my Inspiron laptop that was less than 2 years old cratering on me, I just want to scream. The power supply cord was wonky from the first. I even purchased a new power supply cord so that I had two. In the end, it did not matter. Now, I find out there are companies that specialize in power supply repair. It figures. I will have to call ACS Industrial, sponsor of this post. Maybe Dell has them on contract. LOL

Customer Service Bites the Big One

Principles of customer service have now gone from "the customer is always right"

to

"while we have worked to resolve your issues and questions to the best of our ability, the number of inquiries you have made to us during this time had led us to determine that we are unable to meet your current wireless needs."


Sprint Defends Cutting Customers - TIME - read article

From the article:
The customers were told their service agreements were being terminated, they wouldn't owe anything on their final bill, and the company would waive early termination fees. They also were told to switch to another wireless provider by July 30 if they want to keep their phone number.


Why did I not go with Sprint? My son is breaking me with our family plan and every time I call to ask about something, they E-X-T-E-N-D the term of my calling plan. I would love someone to cut off my wireless service, please! Take the phone numbers and the phones . . . I don't care!

These people must have been truly BAD. Sprint waived termination fees and ate the last month's bill of 1000 customers. If anyone knows someone who was cut by Sprint, please ask them how they did it. Please let me know. I am going to try for the same thing with T-Mobile. LOL


It Comes in Colors . . .



This spot for Dell and their new Inspiron laptop in COLORS is simple and effective. I just hope they fixed all the power supply problems, because if you cannot turn your laptop on because the battery is not charged, you may see RED. This happened to me. I now use HP Pavilion.


Shopping in the 21st Century

Today, shopping online is no big deal. I can remember a time when you would not give your true name, email address, let alone credit card information to anyone on the Internet. Now we think nothing of furniture shopping from stores located in North Caroline and South Carolina via the web.

It has become commonplace to conduct research, read reviews from others, make our choices, pay for our selections and wait for our goods to arrive. If you are looking for distinctive furniture, please visit Boyles.com, sponsor of this post. You will receive free shipping east of the Mississippi on qualifying purchases through July 31. If you live west of the Mississippi, you will pay half price for shipping. Now, that is a deal!

I am a child of the 60s, shopping in the 21st century...


Search Engine Wars, Part XXIV

As reported in Marketing Madness and Sticky Stuff, the total minutes on a website has replaced unique visits and total page views as the metric that Nielsen/NetRatings is using to rank websites.

Advertising Age - Digital - Measuring the Web Just Got More Complex-read article

From the article:
AOL media network used to rank fifth in Nielsen/NetRatings' online audience rankings, but last week it rocketed to first -- that's the kind of thing that can happen when the bean counter changes the beans.


Here are the rankings:

Unique visitors: Google, Yahoo, MSN/Windows Live, Microsoft, AOL Media Network

Page views: Yahoo, Fox Interactive, Google, MSN/Windows Live, eBay

Total minutes: AOL Media Network, Yahoo, MSN/Windows Live, Fox Interactive, Google


So, the search engine wars have been reduced to:
  • We are number one!
  • No, we are!
  • Sorry, but we are!
  • According to Nielsen, we are number one!
  • Well, we get more visitors!
  • But, visitors stay on our site longer!
  • Ha! Visitors read more at our site!
Meanwhile, MSN/Windows Live is solid at #3 and Fox Interactive and eBay are creeping into the rankings.


Michael Vicks: You Are What You Do

Michael Vick's bad behavior has lost every sponsor he had except Nike. Nike says that they have not terminated their relationship, but are monitoring the situation with Michael Vick and the dog fighting charge.

Advertising Age - Nike Suspends Release of Shoe Tied to Michael Vick - read article

From the article:
. . . he's considered the league's fastest and strongest-armed quarterback -- made him appealing to a wide range of marketers, including Coca-Cola's Powerade, Kraft Foods and AirTran Airlines.


I hope to God that the charges against this man are untrue. That a young man with talent, opportunities and sponsors could have anything to do with dog fighting is beyond me. If it is true, God help him.

Lead Management Software and CRM

Best known for lead management and website analytics software, AIMpromote can handle all the sales, management and customer relations aspects of our complex business environment today.

One area in which AIMpromote truly excels is in providing on-demand lead management software, which is simply the most feature-rich lead management solution available. This single web-based solution may be totally customized to meet your marketing needs.

Lead management is the process of capturing and analyzing leads. The goal of lead management may be to convert that lead to a new customer. You may also be in the business of providing leads to others. You can sell leads in any vertical market, automatically and as many times as you wish with AIMpromote's lead management software. AIMpromote allows you to set up and manage lead reseller client accounts.

Compare AIMpromote, sponsor of this post, to their leading competitors, Leads360 and SalesForce.com. AIMpromote offers free setup; lead management, website integration and Internet marketing; reporting, sales force and marketing automation; user management and authentication; support and consultation.

The AIMpromote Lead Management CRM Software offers lead aggregation companies the ability to successfully manage and totally run the entire process with one piece of web-based software. Test drive of this crm software with the free 14-day trial, today!

What is the Bird Doing?

As behavioral targeting grows, so do the challenges offered by flash-based apps, shared videos, and downloaded widgets.

This interview is Quantcast CEO Konrad Feldman being interviewed by Phil Leggiere from Behavioral Insider » Blog Archive » Widgets And BT: Charting Changes In Online Behavior - read entire article

From the article:
The widget and video measurement focuses on usage of all Flash-based applications whether they occur on a publisher’s Web site or are distributed from that site elsewhere. In order to really understand the new environment of video and widget consumption you need to understand the dynamics of distribution, how and where videos and widgets are sent, forwarded or linked. You also need to understand frequency or how often a visitor is exposed to a given media element over a period of time.


This article reminded me of this quote by Richard Feynman:
You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird... So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.

Could I use a pressure washer?

My son moved out a month or so ago. I have been putting off going into his room and bathroom to prepare it for painting and new flooring, knowing that if I looked too close, I would lose heart. The bedroom is bad. I think I will have to strip the carpet out of his bedroom and scrape the walls down before I can paint.

The bathroom is worse. I have cleaned and cleaned, but the dirt is not going anywhere. I am going to have to pull the toilet, the bathtub enclosure and the bathroom vanity, and just coat the walls and cement with a serious disinfectant and let it work overnight. If that does not work, I guess I will use a pressure washer! LOL

I am going to replace everything in that boy's bathroom. I have been looking at Bathroom Vanities from homelivingstyle.com, sponsor of this post. There are some gorgeous vanities on that website, but I thinking I need industrial plumbing--just in case the boy moves home!

Responsible Marketing to Children

Cadbury Adams, Campbell, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Hershey, Kellogg's, Kraft, Mars, McDonald's, Pepsi and Unilever are pledging not to market unhealthy food to children.

Advertising Age - More Major Food Marketers Establish Kids-Advertising Limits- read article

From the article:
General Mills and Campbell join Kellogg and Kraft Foods in going beyond the industry initiative's basic minimum requirement, which asks advertisers to devote 50% of their marketing toward more healthful foods and lifestyles.
This is certainly a step in the right direction, as many children receive most of their information from their peers and the TV.

Renting Out a Second Home is a Hassle!

After Michael and I were married, we had two homes for a couple of years. We were torn between fixing up his old house and selling it or just renting it out. We put a classified advertisement in the paper and waited for people to call. Then we waited for them to show up to see the house. Then we waited for them to return the rental application. As you can see, we waited around and wasted a lot of time. We finally to just decided to paint it and sell it.

It is not always easy to find quality tenants for your rental property. However, I have since then found Rentals.com, a rental solution that takes all the pain out of renting your property. Whether you are looking to rent your single-family home, an apartment, a condominium or a town home, Rentals.com can help you. They even handle vacation rentals!

Rentals.com uses their relationship with ApartmentGuide.com and RentalHouses.com to create a single website that includes all the single-family rentals and multi-family housing from large apartment complexes on a one-stop portal for finding and renting property.

Rentals.com has over 3 million searches on their site every month. If you are not satisfied at the end of the month, they will give you your money back! It is extremely easy to sign up with Rentals.com. The hardest part will be deciding if you want a standard, feature or premiere listing!



Marketing Madness and Sticky Stuff

Google and other search engines will have to redo their page ranking algorithm, while marketers pull their hair out and bang their heads against the wall. Just when we thought it was safe to optimize our websites; once again, we have found that the rules change.

Search Insider » Blog Archive » Word To Nielsen: Brand Matters Less Than You Think- read article.

From the article:
Last Tuesday, Nielsen/NetRatings . . . announced a key change to its Top Web Brands rankings. Dropping the page view as its chief criterion, Nielsen is now focused far more on the time visitors spend on the site (”total minutes”) to measure site engagement.



I would like to shoot the person who came up with the word engagement. We do not want to marry our visitors, we want them to stay for awhile and then go away. I remember websites with frames; in fact I designed a few. Heck, you did not have a prayer of getting off those websites without a guide book. LOL

Why don't we just tell it like it is? To use an old-school term, we want a sticky website. Sticky in that it sucks visitors in, glues them on site, and does not release them to other websites (unless that is exactly where we want them to go).

Torn in Two on this Decision

Well, I have decided after years of Blogspot to move all my blogs and my websites to one host. I was all ready to go with BlueHost because I have heard good things about it from people who are using it.

Then I read about a host that uses GREEN energy for all its functions. That means the energy comes from wind, solar and other alternate sources of energy. The name of the host is Host Papa and they are based out of Canada.

They are about the same price, same features, but I have not heard about Host Papa from anyone. Does anyone use them or has heard something (good or bad) about them.


Are We Ready for the Condo Life?

Michael and I have been thinking about fixing up and selling our home. It is too big, sits on 3/4 acre of land and it is too much to handle while we travel.

We saw this website called Condo Hotels, where you can rent, buy or sell condos. We were thinking that we could stay in our condo during the off seasons and rent it out during the high season. Might be a little hard to figure out in Texas! LOL

We do not know that they have much in our price range, but it got us thinking and talking about it. If you are thinking about it, visit Condo Hotel Marketplace.com, sponsor of this post.


Blog Your Blessing : Blessing of the Home

The Earth is our Home

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May this home and this family
Always know only health and joy,
With love and with peace,
with livelihood and with success.

Please bless, O God, this abode.
Amen, may it be God's will.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Blue Panther Experience is host for Blog Your Blessings. Click this link, grab the blogroll code, add the code to your blog, leave a comment on Blue Panther Experience and post your blessing. Join us on Sunday as we blog our blessings.


Hair Transplants

My hair has been thinning lately on the top of my head. I have looked into having hair transplants. Here is the process for a Hair Transplant. After you find, select and meet with your doctor to talk about expectations, costs, procedures and to set a date.

On the day of the surgery, your scalp will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Your doctor will remove a single strip of follicles from a donor area (over ears or on the neck) that does not normally go bald. This incision is sutured shut, and your hair covers it.

Then, the medical team takes that strip of hair and harvests 1000 to 3000 donor follicles that are separated per hair strip. These hair transplants are now grafted onto the scalp in the areas of hair loss, one by one, so that the hairline remains natural. Soon, your donor follicles will be growing hair, healthy, natural hair for the rest of your life.

This seems easier than it should be. If you want to find more information on hair transplants, please visit Dr. Shapiro's Hair Institute in Hollywood, Florida, sponsor of this post. See if it will work for you.

Protect the Internet NOW

Save the Internet logoLast year, more than 1.5 million Americans contacted Congress and stopped phone and cable company efforts to kill Net Neutrality. Now industry lobbyists are pressuring the Federal Communications Commission to abandon this fundamental Internet freedom.

We have only two days left to defend a free and open Internet. The Federal Communication Commission need to hear from you about Net Neutrality. Watch and rate the video and then tell the FCC your story.


Direct Mail Marketing and "The List"

You have all heard the term, "it's in the list." Your spam email box is probably full of people who have you on "their list." Your mailbox at home is probably crammed with offers from these same people. They are wasting their time, and yours!

So, what is a marketer to do? Well, you could buy lists from a direct mail service like Martin Worldwide, sponsor of this post. Martin Worldwide has the largest, most comprehensive database on the planet, ResponseCom™, which is a database that combines US Response and US Consumer databases. Martin Worldwide has taken the process one step beyond, and they have merged the results of years' of tracking and compiling results, and optimized the data, which is now a wealth of information on proven direct mail responders.

Therefore, if you are looking for direct mail marketing solutions, this is it. No matter what demographics or buying behaviors you wish to target--people who enter sweepstakes, online shoppers, survey takers, rental property owners, online gamers, work at home moms, RV owners, golfers between the ages of 35-54, Internet music purchasers under 22--Martin Worldwide can help you. Then you will have your own "list."

Free Web Digest for Marketers

I was just browsing the latest edition of Web Digest for Marketers, a complimentary weekly email newsletter featuring reviews of and links to marketing-oriented websites. He always has some down to earth information to share, such as:
One of the tactics that has worked well for me is the creation of a personal, chatty tone in all of my company's customer service emails, even those that are automatically generated. There is no reason for an email to read like an alien drone wrote it.
Alien drone! That Larry Chase is a funny man. Subscribe to this newsletter at no charge here.

More Lookie L@@S than Producers of USG

Research Brief » Blog Archive » More Lookers Than Doers For User Generated Content - read the full article

From the article:
The report shows that In the US, the number of users of user-generated content will hit 101 million by 2011, up from the 2006 estimate of 69 million, while the "generators" lag at 91 million.

This is not so surprising. Not everyone is willing to put their homemade video on the Internet. It is the same as in many activities, you have a core of people who do and a lot of people who look and lurk to see what is going on.

What about you? Do you post USG on YouTube? Do you use a webcam when you participate in social networks? Why or why not? Tell me.

Do You Need a Merchant Account?

A merchant account allows you to accept credit cards, debit cards and other forms of money on your website. Of course, you might say, "I can use a third-party payment provider for that." Well, that is true, but you pay for the privilege and not everyone around the world may use that particular payment provider. Nowadays, you must think globally.

Accept credit and debit cards with a merchant account, which is different from a shopping cart. If you have high volume Internet sales, you may need a shopping cart. If not a merchant account may be just the ticket.

First Data Independent Sales (FDIS) is an experienced, award-winning provider of payment processing products, services and technology to small and medium-sized businesses. FDIS has been in business for 20 years! With the services of FDIS, you will be able to accept all major credit cards and debit cards. Usually merchants are approved within two days.

FDIS will help you decide what exactly you need and will provide the software, merchant account and shopping cart setup (if needed).

You will receive:
  • FDIS merchant account, LinkPoint API Secure Payment Gateway script to integrate into your site that allows your customers to make purchases 24/7;
  • LinkPoint Virtual Terminal that allows you to run manual transactions;
  • 24/7 toll-free customer service and technical support in more than 140 languages and dialects; and,
  • access to mymerchantoffice.com, which is where you can review your transactions, run reports and download your monthly statement.
First Data Independent Sales offers E-Commerce solutions, restaurant and retail processing solutions, mail order and telephone sales solutions, and wireless merchant accounts for mobile businesses. You may also want to have TeleCheckWarranty and Electronic Check Acceptance Service that converts POS checks into electronic payments.

In addition to all the services, FDIS offers the credit card machine to match each service listed above. FDIS uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology that will protect you against fraud, loss prevention and chargebacks.

E-commerce to retail, FDIS will help you get started and keep you going. Apply online for your merchant account or call (866) 889-5909 for more information. First Data Independent Sales, sponsor of this post, has the answers you need to open a new business or update an existing business.


Do I use Alt or Title Tags?

Alternative (alt) tags are to be used to describe images. The alt tag tells the screen reader used by visually impaired individuals how to describe an image. With images, you might have alt="all our products" title="from left to right all our products are listed." On mouse over the title will show, in a speech browser or text only browser the user would see "all our products."

Title tags may be used with links. The title tag displays when you mouse over the link, thus providing more information about the link. You may use the title tag to let the person know what is coming next; for example, "click here will take you to our website" would display on mouse over. This does not mean you should not use your keywords with your link.

Both alt and title tags are visible to the search engines. Search engines need the alt tag to see an image. Search engines use the alt tag and the graphic name, i.e., mydog.gif, to categorize images.

Do not, I repeat, do not use the same keywords in your title or alt tags. Use only what you need to help people navigate your site. Keyword stuffing is black hat SEO and will get you banned from search engines. Alt and title tags are all about accessibility, with a nod given to SEO.


Under Foot – Quality Trade Show Flooring

While it's always important to have an impressive trade show display, it's also important to remember the little things about your display. Top quality trade show flooring is just as important as the display, and I think you'll be happy you went with Modern Day Displays to get yours. They have the best selection of flooring for all of your trade show displays.

Getting Into Google

Here is some timely information we can all use:

Last night was our third SEMNE event (Search Engine Marketing New England), and we were humbled to have Dan Crow, director of crawl systems at Google, spilling the beans about how to get your site into Google. He talked for a half hour or so, and then proceeded to answer audience questions for at least another hour. As I sat there listening to him (yes, I actually listened to this one!), I was struck by what an awesome opportunity it was for everyone in that room to be provided with such important information — straight from Google. It was clear that the 100 or so people in the room agreed. In fact, at 7:30 on the dot, everyone spontaneously stopped their networking activities and simply took their seats without being asked to. These folks definitely came to hear Google!

What Is Indexing?

Dan started out his presentation discussing what “indexing” means and how Google goes about it. Basically, the process for the Google crawler is to first look at the robots.txt file in order to learn where it shouldn’t go, and then it gets down to business visiting the pages it is allowed to visit. As the crawler lands on a page, it finds the relevant information contained on it, then follows each link and repeats the process.

Robots.txt Explored

Dan proceeded to explain how to use your robots.txt file for excluding pages and directories from your site that you might not want indexed, such as the cgi-bin folder. He told us how each of the major search engines have their own commands for this file but that they’re working to standardize things a bit more in the future.

In terms of what the crawler looks at on the page, he said there are over 200 factors, with “relevance” playing a big part in many of them.

Google Still Loves Its PageRank

Dan also discussed the importance of PageRank (the real one that only Google knows about, not the “for-amusement-purposes-only” toolbar PR that many obsess over). He let us know that having high-quality links is still one of the greatest factors towards being indexed and ranked, and then he proceeded to explain how building your site with unique content for your users is one of the best approaches to take. (Now, where have you heard that before? ;) He explained how creating a community of like-minded individuals that builds up its popularity over time is a perfect way to enhance your site.

Did You Know About These Tags?

We were also treated to some additional tips that many people may not have known about. For instance, did you know that you could stop Google from showing any snippet of your page in the search engine results by using a “nosnippet” tag? And you can also stop Google from showing a cached version of your page via the “noarchive” tag. Dan doesn’t recommend these for most pages since snippets are extremely helpful to visitors, as is showing the cache. However, Google understands that there are certain circumstances where you may want to turn those off.

Breaking News!

Google is coming out with a new tag called “unavailable_after” which will allow people to tell Google when a particular page will no longer be available for crawling. For instance, if you have a special offer on your site that expires on a particular date, you might want to use the unavailable_after tag to let Google know when to stop indexing it. Or perhaps you write articles that are free for a particular amount of time, but then get moved to a paid-subscription area of your site. Unavailable_after is the tag for you! Pretty neat stuff!

Webmaster Central Tools

Dan couldn’t say enough good things about their Webmaster Central tools. I have to say that seems to be very common with all the Google reps I’ve heard speak at various conferences. The great thing is that they’re not kidding! If you haven’t tried the webmaster tools yet, you really should because they provide you with a ton of information about your site such as backward links, the keyword phrases with which people have found each page of your site, and much, much more!

Sitemaps Explored

One of the main tools in Webmaster Central is the ability to provide Google with an XML sitemap. Dan told us that a Google sitemap can be used to provide them with URLs that they would otherwise not be able to find because they weren’t linked to from anywhere else. He used the term “walled garden” to describe a set of pages that are linked only to each other but not linked from anywhere else. He said that you could simply submit one of the URLs via your sitemap, and then they’d crawl the rest. He also talked about how sitemaps were good for getting pages indexed that could be reached only via webforms. He did admit later that even though those pages would be likely to be indexed via the sitemap, at this time they would still most likely be considered low quality since they wouldn’t have any PageRank. Google is working on a way to change this in the future, however.

Flash and AJAX

Lastly, Dan mentioned that Google still isn’t doing a great job of indexing content that is contained within Flash and/or AJAX. He said that you should definitely limit your use of these technologies for content that you want indexed. He provided a bit of information regarding Scalable Inman Flash Replacement (sIFR), and explained that when used in the manner for which it was intended, it’s a perfectly acceptable solution for Google. Dan said that Google does hope to do a better job of indexing the information contained in Flash at some point in the future.

The Q&A

Many of the points mentioned above were also covered in greater detail during Dan’s extensive Q&A session. However, there were many additional enlightening tidbits that got covered. For instance, Sherwood Stranieri from Catalyst Online asked about Google’s new Universal Search, specifically as it applied to when particular videos (that were not served up from any Google properties) would show up in the main search results. Dan explained that in Universal Search, the videos that show up are the same that show up first while using Google’s video search function.

The Dreaded Supplemental Results

Of course, someone just *had* to ask about supplemental results and what causes pages to be banished there. (This is one of the most common questions that I hear at all SEO/SEM conferences.) Dan provided us with some insights as to what the supplemental results were and how you could get your URLs out of them. He explained that basically the supplemental index is where they put pages that have low PageRank (the real kind) or ones that don’t change very often. These pages generally don’t show up in the search results unless there are not enough relevant pages in the main results to show. He had some good news to report: Google is starting to crawl the supplemental index more often, and soon the distinction between the main index and the supplemental index will be blurring. For now, to get your URLs back into the main results, he suggested more incoming links (of course!).

There was a whole lot more discussed, but I think this is enough to digest for now! All in all, my SEMNE co-founder Pauline and I were extremely pleased with how the night unfolded. We had a great turnout, met a ton of new contacts, caught up with a bunch of old friends, and received some great information straight from Google!

For more information on SEMNE or to see some photos from the event, please visit the SEMNE site here.


CEO and founder of High Rankings®, Jill Whalen has been performing search engine optimization since 1995 and is the host of the free High Rankings Advisor search engine marketing newsletter, author of “The Nitty-gritty of Writing for the Search Engines" and founder/administrator of the popular High Rankings Search Engine Optimization Forum. In 2006, Jill co-founded SEMNE, a local search engine marketing networking organization for people and companies in New England.


Typo Generator for Search Engine Marketing

Did you know you can use misspelled keywords in your search engine marketing strategy? Why would you misspell keywords? Because everyone misspells words. We transpose letters, have the CAPS key on, and put our hands on the wrong place when typing. Finding and targeting these keywords is one way you can really cut costs of an online advertising campaign.

Jayde has inveted a Typo Generator. Enter one of your keywords, select a type of misspelling error, and the tool does the rest!

So enjoy misspelling keywords and take the money to the bank.

Text Your Promotion for Best Results

Over 90+ percent of all promotional text messages are opened and read, compared with just 3 percent of promotional email messages. This is the next wave of advertising, so you may want to increase your text message promotions.

Advanced Telecom Services (ATS), sponsor of this post, provides interactive voice response (IVR) services and interactive mobile solutions. ATS offers text message solutions for newspapers and text message solutions for radio stations. Advanced Telecom Services offers bulk SMS text message emergency alerts, and supports text message voting.

I must admit, I have never thought of using bulk SMS text to communication important information during a natural disaster or other dangerous situation. Imagine what a difference this could have made in New Orleans during Katrina!

Germans are Active Online Buyers

Germany: Online Overview (eMarketer) estimates nearly 40 million active Internet users in Germany in 2006, number to climb to nearly 50 million before 2011. Two out of three German Internet users shop and buy online. On average, the German online buyer spent $945 in 2006, should rise to $1,739 by 2010.

Germany: Online Powerhaus - eMarketer- read article here




Social media #1 influencing buying decisions

The 2007 ITtoolbox/PJA IT Social Media Index Survey was conducted between May 9-21, 2007. More than 2,100 information technology and business professionals from more than 50 countries worldwide were surveyed.
  • They found that Information Technology professionals cited social media as the most trustworthy online source of information when making purchasing decisions.

  • Nearly 2/3 of the respondents believe that social media content and user-generated tools help them make a more informed purchasing decision.

  • More than 3/4 of the respondents believe that social media content and user-generated tools have made them more efficient.
Research Brief » Blog Archive » IT Execs Extend Trust to Social Media in Making Purchase Decisions - more information on this study from the Center for Media Research.


Alive Directory

Submitting to a directory may be a good marketing strategy, but you must make sure to submit your sites to quality directories. I have spent hours submitting to directories and putting up reciprocal links, only to go back and find the directory has not approved all my sites or has gone out of business.

Alive Directory is a human-edited directory for websites and blogs. You may visit the website at http://www.alivedirectory.com. Things you should look for are ease of use, as well as page rank and longevity of directory. If the directory does not have a search engine, it is worthless. Page rank is self-explanatory; if you want quality links, a directory with high page rank is a safe bet. Longevity does not guarantee that the directory will continue, but it gives you a good idea of the stability of the directory. Alive Directory has a page ranking of 6 out of 10. The directory has been around since 2005. Another plus for Alive Directory, sponsor of this post, is the fact that you can contact support via the website.

There are no free listings, either with or without reciprocal links. There are two sets of pricing, yearly and permanent. Here is the breakdown of costs:
  1. Yearly Featured $74.95/Year or Yearly Featured with five additional links $99.95/Year
  2. Yearly Regular $49.95/Year or Yearly Regular with three additional links $69.95/Year
  3. Yearly Regular with Reciprocal $34.95/Year
  4. Permanent Regular $149.95 or Permanent Regular with three additional links $209.95
  5. Permanent Featured $224.95 or Permanent Featured with five additional links $299.95
Alive Directory screens content before adding sites, so the directory is family-friendly. No chance of your site showing up on the page with questionable products. If you wish to submit you sites, may I suggest purchasing the yearly option with reciprocal link on a trial basis? You will see from your stats if you are receiving traffic from the directory, and make your decision on more submissions from facts.